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Waitrose trials rapid Deliveroo delivery as M&S-Ocado deal launches

Suban Abdulla
·2-min read
Deliveroo also works with 35,000 restaurants across the UK, including tie-ups with M&S and german grocer Aldi.
Deliveroo also works with 35,000 restaurants across the UK, including tie-ups with M&S and german grocer Aldi. Photo: Getty

Waitrose has signed a 12-week trial with Deliveroo to offer deliveries within half an hour to more than half a million customers.

The trial will be available from Tuesday 1 September at Waitrose shops in Bracknell and Clifton, and from 3 September in Surbiton, Cambridge and Notting Hill in London.

The chain said more than 500 products will be made available, which will be delivered to customers’ homes by Deliveroo’s drivers.

Waitrose already provides online delivery via its website, which offers two-hour delivery slots. The supermarket and takeaway company are hoping to extend the contract if the trial-period proves successful.

The move comes as Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) and Ocado (OCDO.L) — Waitrose’s former delivery partner for nearly 20 years — are set to launch M&S food services online, also on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Why the new Ocado-Marks & Spencer tie-up makes sense

The COVID-19 lockdown measures boosted demand for online deliveries, with many Brits opting to stay home and order food rather than going to supermarkets, which saw Waitrose expand its delivery slots from 60,000 before the pandemic to 160,000, with plans to add 90,000 more.

Waitrose executive director James Bailey said: “We have laid down a marker for our future strategy with the growth of Waitrose.com and Waitrose Rapid and this gives us another opportunity to give our customers a taste of what the future of convenience shopping could look like for us.

“Our trial with Deliveroo has huge potential to give new and existing customers greater choice and flexibility for when and how they want to shop with Waitrose.”

In addition to its new contract with Waitrose, Deliveroo also works with 35,000 restaurants across the UK, including tie-ups with M&S and german grocer Aldi.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: M&S to axe around 7,000 jobs

Deliveroo vice president of new business Ajay Lakhani said: “Deliveroo’s on-demand grocery services have proven vital for so many people during this difficult period, allowing families to get the items they want and need quickly without having to leave home.

“This new partnership will bring Waitrose’s fantastic product range to people in as little as 30 minutes. We are excited about working with such a brilliant British brand, bringing people the food they need and want, on demand.”

The Waitrose chain, founded in 1904, is part of the John Lewis Partnership.